Celtics suspend coach Ime Udoka for entire 2022-23 season over ‘violations of team policies’

The Boston Celtics announced Thursday that head coach Ime Udoka will be suspended for the entire 2022-23 season due to a “violation of team policy.” Udoka’s suspension goes into effect immediately, and the Celtics will make a decision on his future beyond this season at a later date.

Assistant coach Joe Mazura will reportedly serve as interim coach ESPN. The Celtics’ press release announcing Udoka’s suspension did not contain any information on who would take over the team.

Udoka issued a personal statement after Boston’s announcement: “I want to apologise to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for letting them down. I’m sorry for letting the team get into this Dilemma, I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for all involved, I will no longer comment.

Udoka was suspended for allegedly having a consensual but inappropriate relationship with a team member, Athlete’s Shams Charania reported Wednesday.Udoka reportedly considering resignation Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated; However, he reportedly decided not to resign.

Boston hired Udoka last June after Udoka’s predecessor, Brad Stevens, took over as team president. The Celtics started 23-24 under Udoka, but they have won 28 of their past 35 games for the remainder of the regular season. They finished with the best defense in the NBA and reached the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. Boston ended up losing to the Golden State Warriors in six games.

Before joining the Celtics, Udoka spent nine seasons as an assistant coach with Gregg Popovich’s seven San Antonio Spurs before Brett Brown and the Philadelphia 76ers. Steve Nash of the Brooklyn Nets played for one year.

Marzura, an assistant coach under Udoka and Stevens, was hired by then-president Danny Ainge in 2019. Earlier this offseason, he interviewed for the Utah Jazz’s open head coaching position and was eventually hired by former Celtics assistant Will Hardy. After that, Boston promoted Marzura to the bench, according to the Boston Globe.

Mazuela began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Fairmont State University in the 2013-14 season. He left three years later to join the Celtics’ G League affiliate, then known as the Maine Red Claws, for one year. He returned to Fairmont State as a coach for two years, leading the team to a 43-17 record and first-round exit in the 2019 NCAA Division II.

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